How To Talk To Your Liberal Family Members At Thanksgiving

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Counting the votes

January 6, 2017, 1:00 PM EST


Ladies and gentlemen, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the President of the Senate, the Honorable Joseph R. Biden.


Thanks, Pat.

Paul.


So, we vote now, right? I was thinking onions, mushrooms, and bacon. Oh, and extra cheese. What about you guys?


Mr. President, we’re here to …

Oh, is Barack here, too? I suppose that means no bacon.


No, I’m addressing you as president of the Senate. While the Senate is in session, as it is now with the House, you are presiding. So we call you Mr. President. And you call me Mr. Speaker.

“Paul Speaker?” That’s a funny name. Anyway, are you telling me that all this time, I didn’t need to worry about Barack watching me? Jeez. I wish someone had told me. So, is he here? Do we get bacon or not?


Mr. President, we’re not here to vote on pizza.

It’s one o’clock and it’s a Friday, Mr. Speaker. I’m thinking extra-large. There are more here than I realized. How many is this? About 50?


Well, the D.C. House delegate is here, so 536.

We better get two pizzas. And bread sticks.


Joe, we’re here to open the electoral votes to select the president.

You just told me I was president.


For Heaven’s sake, Joe, we’re picking the next president of the United States. Your term as vice president of the United States and as President of the Senate is up in two weeks, so we need to pick the next person for the job.

Didn’t I do a good job? I’ve seen my picture all over the Internet. I must be doing something right.


Listen, Joe, it’s time to open the votes and count them.

Oh, okay. I hope we get bacon. I’m tired of pepperoni. So, how do we do this?


The same way we did four years ago. You have the ballots in front of you. Open them in alphabetical order and read the total. Hand them to the tellers, who will record the totals. When all the states are counted, they’ll add them up and give you those totals, and you announce the next president and vice-president.

Alphabetical? So, we start with Delaware, right? Why is Alabama on top? Delaware is the first state.


No, Joe. Alphabetically, it’s Alabama, followed by Alaska. Delaware is, let’s see, 8th on the list.

No, that’s not right. Delaware is the first state. I know my algebra.


This is the order they want us to read them, Mr. President.

Okay then, Mr. Speaker. We’ll do it that way. But I do get extra cheese?


Joe, I’ve just been informed that an extra-large pizza with onions, mushroom, bacon — and extra cheese — has won. If you’ll follow me to your car, we’ll head over to … um … Amy’s … and introduce you.

Yay! Another job well done!

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Understanding the Electoral College

A lot of people don’t understand the Electoral College. It’s their own fault. I mean, it’s been around since 1789, so there’s no reason to not know about it. But, a lot of people still don’t.

Briefly, it’s the group of people that actually elect the President of the United States. And, it’s been that way since the Constitution was first ratified.

The thing that should really be understood is the “why.” Why in the world would we have such a system. Well, you need to learn a little history.

When the Founding Fathers decided to set up a new government, there was a great disagreement about how to do it. They finally decided there would be three branches of the government: a Legislative Branch to make the laws, an Executive Branch to carry out the laws, and a a Judicial Branch to interpret questions regarding the laws. Each branch of the government would be populated by different people, all in different ways.

Before we get to the Executive Branch, let’s quickly cover the Legislative Branch.

Legislative Branch

The branch that makes the laws were to be representatives of the people. But there was great disagreement over how to select the representatives and how to apportion them.

The delegation from Virginia, the most populous state at the time, wanted each state to get representatives in proportion to their population. The more populous states would get more representatives. The problem with that, though, is that four of the 13 states would be able to push through anything despite objections from the other nine states. (Actually, the four largest states were one shy of a majority, so they would need to convince one, but only one, representative of the other states to go along.) The smaller states didn’t like that.

The delegation from New Jersey, one of the smaller states, wanted each state to have an equal number of representatives. That meant the concerns of New Jersey or Rhode Island carried as much weight as Massachusetts or Virginia. The problem with that was the seven smallest states, which had only one third of the population, could push through legislation that two-thirds of Americans didn’t want. The larger states didn’t like that.

So, the solution was to implement both plans. The Legislative Branch would consist of two bodies, representing both the people and the states.

A House of Representatives would be have members in proportion to population. It would be the representatives of the people, and chosen by the people every two years.

A Senate would provide equal representation of the states. Each state had two Senators, and they would serve six year terms. Every two years, one third of the Senate would be chosen. Since the Senate were representatives of the states, the Senators were chosen by the legislatures of the states. (More about that here.)

The Executive Branch

Of the three branches, one part of Legislative Branch was the one selected by the people to represent the people. But the Executive Branch? How to deal with that?

It was decided that each state would be granted Electors to choose the President, equal to the combined number of Representatives and Senators. Each state would determine how to select the Electors. Some were chosen by the state legislature, and some were selected by the people. In the first election (1789) of the ten states that participated, half the states voted on the Electors, and half were appointed by the state legislatures. In the second election (1792), of the 15 states, ten selected Electors by the legislature and five by votes of citizens.

One other thing. Originally, the Electors cast two votes. Whoever got the most was President and whoever came in second was Vice-President.

Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court was then filled by the other two branches of the government. The President appointed judges to the Court, but the Senate had to approve the appointments. Justices served for life.

But, The People…

There are complaints by some, or by many, about how unfair it is that they don’t get to elect the President. Well, that’s the whole point. The Founding Fathers gave me, you, and all citizens our voice in government through the House of Representatives. They gave the states (us collectively by state) a voice in the Senate. They gave the states the ability to choose those that would choose the President.

That’s the genius of the system we have in place. The Electoral College is a combination of the voice of the people and the voice of the states.

If you think you should have the say directly, keep in mind that George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the Founding Fathers said otherwise. Take this any way you want: I trust them more than I trust you. Or me.

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A social experiment

Over on The Facebook, one of my friends there, Rachelle Jones, had a great idea. I thought it was great, anyway. You could check it out, but you’d have to be a friend of hers on The Facebook to read her post. So I’ll tell you what she wrote. I’m sure she won’t mind.

Go to Donald Trump’s page and see how many friends like it. Then, go to Hillary Clinton’s page and see how many friends like it. Do the same for Gary Johnson.

Why I never thought of that, I have no idea. Anyway, I did it, adding Jill Stein to the mix. And here’s how it came out. Some liked more than one, which complicated things. So I have two ways of showing the results:

Clinton 15%
Trump 55%
Johnson 50%
Stein 0%.

or

Clinton 5%
Trump 40%
Johnson 35%
Clinton & Trump 5%
Clinton & Johnson 5%
Trump & Johnson 10%

Now, I’m trying to imagine someone liking both Hillary and Trump … unless they’re a chronic liker. I’m not really surprised that Trump and Johnson had the most page likes of the people I know on The Facebook. The likes for Hillary, though? Yeah, I was kinda surprised when I found out who liked Hillary.

Of course, most of my friends on The Facebook didn’t like any of them. They probably have the right idea.

Anyway, are you up for that? Or are you afraid you’ll get a shock or two that you just don’t feel like dealing with?

[Comments also welcome at BasilsBlog.com (shameless plug)]

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Party Time

LPsticker

My car

Well I finally did it. For the first time in my life, I actually joined a political party.

I’m a conservative (lower case, indicating a philosophy, not upper case to indicate a proper noun, as the name of a group or party). But now, I’m also a Libertarian (upper case, as in the Libertarian Party and as in the Libertarian Party of Georgia). Let me explain why I joined the party.

In recent years, I’ve increased contributions to some candidates running for office. I’ve not always been happy with the candidate I was financially supporting. Or the party, quite honestly.

The Republican Party has shown time and again it’s unwillingness to hold to conservative principles. And I’ve had enough. I’m done giving money to them. I’m cutting them off. Writing them out of my will. Moving on. Looking ahead. Kinda like a divorce. Some of you know what I mean.

I don’t have piles of money lying around just begging to be given away. But, I do occasionally send money to help in election years. This year, I’ve given to two candidates, and I’m all out of candidates. Republican ones, that is.

Anyway, I sat down one day recently and went over my options.

Democrats? I have no use for them. I have refused to vote for local Democrats, who were otherwise good people, because all that does is strengthen the Democrat Party. And anyone who strengthens the Democrat Party nationally needs to be beat with a stick. Several sticks.

Republicans? Well, they talk good. They act bad. During elections, they’ve taken two approaches. One approach is to assume the conservative base is there and run to the left. That pisses off the conservative base. The other approach is to campaign to the right, and then govern to the left. That pisses off the conservative base.

As a pissed off conservative, I’ve had enough. I’m looking elsewhere. Or was. I found the Libertarian Party.

I’ve read the national Libertarian Party Platform. I don’t agree with all of it. A lot of it, sure. But not all. However, looking at what the three major parties say and do — don’t forget about what they actually do — the Libertarian Party is closest to me.

So, I’m still a conservative. That hasn’t changed. And I’m now associating with a national (and state) political party that is closest to my beliefs and values.

I’m not urging you to join the Libertarian Party. I’m not asking you to vote Libertarian in November. I just want you to know that if you are fed up with how the Republican Party has treated you, there are options. This is the one I chose.

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Dead?

I thought they said the TEA Party was dead?

Mostly_Dead

Have fun storming the castle!

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Wonder-ful

WonderBreadGuess who leans right more than the Koch Brothers?

Wonder Bread!

Actually, it’s Flowers Foods, the company that makes Wonder Bread.

The details of this are that, since 1984, no company has given a higher percentage of its political donations to Republican candidates than Flowers Foods. The New York Times reports that in that time period, only three Democrats have received money from the company, and no Democrats in the last 20 years.

What about the other side of the coin? Who gives money to Democrats? Royal Bank of Scotland.

Citizens Financial Group (properly, RBS Citizens Financial Group Political Committee) has, over time, given a greater percentage to Democrats than Republicans. The gap has been closing, though. In 2008, RBS gave 84% to Democrats and 16% to Republicans. So far in 2014, it’s been 56% Democrat, 44% Republican.

But, no company on either side give as much to one side as Flowers.

Will this change my eating habits? No. I’ve eaten Sunbeam, Durst, and Merita for years. Natures Own, Cobblestone, and Wonder Bread are all brands I’ve bought regularly. Well, not a lot for Cobblestone, but the others.

But, I gotta wonder. Will the left jump on this as a reason to attack Wonder Bread? Of course. It’s what they do. And, the article in the New York Times focused on the right-leaning companies, while barely mentioning the left-leaning ones. Particularly the foreign-owned bank that heavily supports Democrats.

Is there a point to all this? Only that I’m glad to see that a company that I’ve been buying stuff from for years isn’t turning around and giving it to folks that are trying to make my life a living hell. And, that when I’m buying bread, I’ll do like the guy on TV used to tell people: say it with Flowers.

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Shooting up Obamacare

There’s a candidate for Congress over in Alabama that’s getting some attention with a campaign video. Will Brooke — NOT the guy from Montana, although you can bet some stupid liberal will try to make that connection — is from the Birmingham area and has a business degree and a law degree from the University of Alabama, and is an executive with Harbert Management Corporation.

The sixth District is the middle of the state. It starts a little north of Montgomery and runs to above Birmingham, encompassing much of Jefferson County (where Birmingham is, but not Birmingham itself), as well as Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Coosa, and Shelby counties. It’s conservative. No Democrat has received more than 30% of the vote since 1993, when current Congressman Spencer Bachus (a Republican who’s retiring) unseated Democrat Ben Erdreich.

Republicans running include:

I can’t find any Democrats running, so whoever wins the Republican primary will likely be the next Representative for that district.

Oh, yeah. Will Brooke’s video. Have you seen it?


[YouTube]

Now, is Will Brooke the man needed in Washington? Maybe. It’s not my district — heck, it’s not even my state — so I don’t have a vote in that race (unless I voted Democrat, then I could vote early, often, and everywhere).

I hope my friends in Alabama make a good decision. And, I hope that whoever is elected to Congress this fall will indeed take down Obamacare.

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I’m a RINO

ElephantRinoIt’s time for me to come clean. I’m a RINO.

That terrible label that’s been attached to the squishes that always give in and don’t hold true conservative beliefs? R-I-N-O? “Republican In Name Only?”

I think I’m actually the RINO.

I say that because I’m finding more and more that the Republicans aren’t the conservatives. Being a conservative and aligning yourself with a Republican doesn’t make Republicans conservative. It just means you’re aligning with the least liberal, least horrible of the viable options.

I don’t really want to take up the label “RINO” because of what it has represented. But, the reality is, the Republican Party isn’t a bunch of conservatives. But, a bunch of conservatives vote for the Republicans.

We got two options: take over the Republican Party, or form our own party.

The problem is, we’re so independent, it’s hard to get together and all work the same. For instance, some conservatives have varying issues on religion. Some are atheist. Some are agnostic. Some are Catholic. Some are Baptist. Some are Jewish. Some are one of any other number of variations on Christianity, Judaism, as well as other faiths (and lack of faiths).

That, in turn, leads to varying beliefs on issues like homosexuality. I believe it’s contrary to Scripture, and, therefore, a sin. But, I’m not one to yell in my homosexual friends’ and family members’ faces, saying they’re going to hell. I don’t think they are, but I think homosexuality is a sin. However, some disagree strongly with me about it, saying there’s nothing wrong with it. Others disagree the other way, saying I should be getting all up in their faces. And, others disagree in varying degrees one way or another.

I’ll stop there, but it shows how on those two issues, conservatives can’t agree on one common response. If we try to form our own party, effectively splitting from the GOP, we’ll splinter even further into varying forms of conservatism. Kinda like what happens when a Baptist church splits. A town starts with one and suddenly, there’s Baptist churches everywhere. Not always because they’re setting up missions that turn into full-fledged churches, but usually because somebody doesn’t like the new carpet (great Aunt Gladys bought the old carpet), or the preacher’s tie is too wide, or the organist shops at the wrong store, or something equally silly.

I think there’s a party in place that we can take back. Goldwater put the seeds in place in ’64. Reagan took control in ’80. In the intervening time, we lost it. Whether its because those we put in office start playing the game of staying in power rather than doing the will of the people, or its because they were slimy weasels to begin with, the Republican Party isn’t run by conservatives. We get lip service. And not the good kind.

I may actually be one of the ones who are Republican In Name Only. Because I’m actually a conservative.

We need good, young, strong, principled conservatives running for office and leading the party. Instead of a bunch of weasels who are just enjoying the Party at our expense.

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Welcome to our world, Lefties

ObamaFrankensteinMonsterFirst, you have to recognize the problem.

But, you can’t stop there. You have to do something about it. And that’s where the left will fall short.

Here’s what’s going on.

One of the few things that some on the right and some on the left agree about is that attacking Syria is a bad idea. Only, most of the vocal opposition is coming from the right. Why is that?

Ask Ed Asner, as The Hollywood Reporter did:

Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist.

“A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama,” he said.

Well, now, Ed, just who caused that situation? Who made it so that if you oppose Obama on any grounds whatsoever, you get thought of as being racist?

That’s right, Ed. You on the left. May I call you Ed? I’m gonna go ahead and call you Ed. Okay, Ed?

Well, Ed, this Frankenstein’s Monster you created is out of control. You on the left — well, not you specifically, Ed, since you are speaking up, but your buddies on the left — are afraid of being falsely accused of racism, because you take a stand against something you believe is wrong.

What’s it like, Ed? Tell me. I can’t imagine. Except for every day when I experience it because of my opposition to the policies of the Democrats, including Obama.

You and I don’t agree on a lot of stuff, Ed, but we do agree on at least two things.

1 – You shouldn’t hold back from criticism of what you believe is wrong because someone will falsely accuse you of racism.

2 – You shouldn’t be falsely accused of racism.

Okay, maybe you don’t yet think the second. But, maybe this will help you come around.

While I generally don’t support the same things you believe in, Ed, I do believe that you should be able to express your views without unjust criticism. So, Ed, why don’t you on the left stop the unjust criticism?

It’s not fun when something of yours bites you in the ass, is it?

Well, okay, I have to admit: it’s just a little bit fun to watch.

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Accidentally

It seems Costa Rica accidentally legalized gay marriage. Really. At least, that’s what some British newspaper is reporting:

This week, the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly voted for a change to its “Law of Young People”, which covers social services and marriage laws. It was only once the bill had passed did unwitting conservative lawmakers realise that their liberal counterparts had inserted language that could open the door to civil unions for gay couples.

Oopsy!

And you thought the U.S. was the only country with politicians stupid enough to pass laws without reading them.

Now, who’s got egg on their face?

Or something.

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Netflix and Sarah Palin

Maybe I’m just a humorless jerk, but I didn’t find this funny:

You see, the lefties had started a Twitter hashtag #SarahPalinFilms trashing the former governor and GOP vice presidential nominee. Netflix saw fit to join in the Sarah-bashing.

Then, when asked about it, lied. So that’s two strikes. But, the first is enough for me.

Now, had they done such a thing with Barack Obama also, then there’d be the chance that Netflix was ragging on both sides of the political spectrum. But, no. They only poke fun at the right. So, this right wing nutcase isn’t sharing any more of his money with Netflix. After all these years, I’ve canceled my Netflix account:

I’ll be able to find enough to watch without them. It’s a shame, though. I’ve been a customer a long time.

Too bad they don’t respect their customers. At least, their right-wing customers.

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Trusting Obama

Photo: AP

The Speaker of the House trusts Barack Obama.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “What’s the punchline?” Yeah, there’s not one. John Boehner says he “absolutely” trusts Barack Obama:

Boehner said “hope springs eternal” in regards to the possibility of a budget deal, and told (ABC News correspondent Martha) Raddatz that he has a “very good relationship” with President Obama and that he “absolutely” trusts him. He added that the president’s recent outreach — or so called “charm offensive” — intended to woo Republicans, is a “good thing.”

It’s nice to know that Boehner trusts Obama. I was worried that all the lies and tricks Obama had told and pulled over his life would make him untrustworthy. But Boehner can see right through that, and know that Obama can be trusted.

And that’s good news. Boehner will be able to work with the president to make good things happen. I believe he’ll work with Obama and deliver a good, workable plan for the future of the country. After all, Boehner delivers. Just think about how he managed to deliver his home state in the last election.

Now, don’t you feel better?

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Instead of a helmet…

As a gag gift — I think it was a gag gift — Hillary Clinton received a football helmet when she returned to her job at the State Department.

She also got a football jersey, but the helmet, I suppose, represented the fact that she fell and hit her head recently. With that helmet protecting her, at least she’ll stay conscious long enough to testify, I suppose.

Anyway, my first thought was of the character that Mike Meyers used to play on Saturday Night Live, Philip, the hyperactive, hypoglycemic kid (“I’m hyper hypo!”), who wore a helmet and a harness.

A helmet might not be a bad idea for members of the Obama administration. Of course, I’m thinking a leash might be better for the whole lot of them.

And a muzzle.

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Did you get everything you wanted?

© 2003 Warner Bros.

Remember the scene from “A Christmas Story,” after all the opening of the presents, where the Old Man and Ralphie’s Mom are sitting on the couch with Ralphie between them while Randy is passed out amid the trash next to the Frankenstein’s Monster mask with the zeppelin under his arm?

The Old Man asks Ralphie “Did you get everything you wanted?” Turns out Ralphie didn’t. After all, for the previous 1:19:47, Ralphie has been scheming to get an official Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle. And there wasn’t one.

Only, the Old Man pointed out to Ralphie that there was one other thing behind the desk, which turned out to be that very gift.

Well, I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas. We have the same old president. And no one has pointed out a brand new president boxed up behind the desk.

How about you? Did you get what you wanted? Or were you disappointed by not getting that one special thing?

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